Success Matters: #32 September 2011
"Are you more like a Hedgehog or a Fox?"

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Gerrie Dresser,
The Executive / Personal Brand Coach for High Achieving Leaders and Pivotal Leadership Teams . . .

Coaching you to articulate your unique value, stand out IN a crowd, and create sustainable career success!

Conversations and strategies about how to stand out IN a crowd and create sustainable success while making a difference through high impact contributions.

A Message from Gerrie


Did you know that the brain represents only 2% of our body weight, but it requires almost 25% of our body’s oxygen?

This fact piqued my curiosity about the impact on your leadership presence when you feel mentally depleted. The research closely aligns with our conversation over the past few months about getting your Needs met and the ‘heavy energy’ that results when your Needs aren’t met. This feeling of mental depletion has a significant impact on your ability to ‘act decisively’, a leadership capability integrated into many company development plans.

When you act decisively, you demonstrate courage by taking a risk to propose an innovative idea in a group setting. It is also reflected in your ability to synthesize complex information, gathered from multiple sources, and knowing when it’s enough to make a well thought out judgment call.

What stands in the way of YOUR ability to act decisively? Here are a few tips from my research to uplevel your decision making capability:

  • Conserve your mental energy. “Once you’re mentally depleted, you’re more likely to make trade-offs.”
  • Eat nourishing food throughout the day. “Your brain needs glucose [for effective decision making].”
  • Collaborate with your trusted advisors. “Sometimes, it’s best to run your ideas by others.”

But, you may be asking . . . What does this have to do with the Hedgehog vs. Fox question?

In Jim Collins book, Good to Great, he compares the companies on the Good to Great list to the hedgehog … always focused on their consistent method of success. We all know that focusing on what brings out your best, your core competency, is what results in the greatest success and sense of fulfillment, i.e. the hedgehog.

But, there are so many distractions that can trigger your emotions, deplete your mental energy or reduce your willpower to do what you know is in your best interest. We’ve all experienced these distractions, so I’ve outlined a few specific strategies to help you reduce these distractions in our article below, Are you more like a hedgehog or a fox?

By the way, did you get a chance to take the Coaching Challenge from our August 2011 edition of Success Matters to identify what emotional triggers distract you from achieving a BIG goal that you want for yourself?

To your unique success,


Gerrie Dresser
Executive l Personal Brand Coach
Who helps high achieving leaders

stand out IN a crowd . . . DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF!

Features:  What's Included ...

Unique Genius Virtual Café

Our Unique Genius Virtual Café community is growing!

Here is the value that one Attendee experienced: “Thank you for hosting the Unique Genius Virtual Café conversations. The business world is changing so swiftly, especially the strategies for career development that it's challenging to keep ahead of the curve. So thanks for educating us and finding speakers to enrich the mix.” D.B, Instructional Designer

Did you miss our Café Conversation on Tuesday, September 27, 2011?

Save the Date for our next Café Conversation: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 – 12:00 Noon ET

  • Guest Expert:          Virginia Steinberg, Opus Partners, Inc
  • Topic:                        “Beyond LinkedIn 101 … How to Nurture Your Network and  
                                       Stand Out with Authenticity, Credibility, and Integrity”

Virginia Steinberg is the Vice President and one of the founding principals of Opus Partners, Inc., a firm specializing in achieving predictable revenue growth for its clients’ companies and teams. Virginia is a strong advocate of the use of social media to grow your business. She and the company executives have spoken on and been featured in articles and podcasts on the topic.

Watch for Your Invitation in early October!

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Speaking Events!

To celebrate the message about ‘Unique Genius’, organizations and corporations are sponsoring speaking events to inspire and motivate their leaders! Watch for upcoming events in Success Matters.

Here’s a snapshot of my upcoming speaking events and sponsors, focused on “Leverage Your Unique Genius To Drive Innovation”

  • November 15: Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA), King of Prussia, PA

To learn more about Gerrie’s speaking and make a referral to your organization, click on link:

Phone: 610-429-0359

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Feature Article:
"Are you more like a Hedgehog or a Fox?"

Have you figured out yet whether you’re more like a hedgehog or a fox?

Here are a few more hints to help you decide . . . a fox is always quickly jumping forward to attack the hedgehog. The hedgehog simply rolls into a ball of spikes in defense. While the fox is depicted as fast and agile, the hedgehog consistently focuses on his core competency.

The Hedgehog Concept, according to Jim Collins, isn’t a goal to BE the best, or even an intention to BE the best. It’s an understanding of what you can BE the best at. So, wouldn’t you assume that everyone aspires to that?

Well, most people would except for one thing - the core elements are connecting with what you’re deeply passionate about and consistently delivering on your core competency. These are difficult to identify, especially when you’re surrounded by things that negatively trigger your emotions or drain your mental energy.

Identifying your Needs, defining how to get them met more consistently, and then following through on your plan is one strategy to clear out these distractions.

Another strategy is to conserve and recharge your mental energy with a few simple practices. For example:

  1. Alternate your mental activity. In other words, alternate linear, analytical, creative and social activities to challenge your intellect and regain energy and focus.
  2. Conserve your willpower. People with the best self-control structure their lives and establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices.

    For example, they don’t schedule back-to-back meetings. Rather than having to ‘push’ themselves to get up early in the morning to workout, they schedule an appointment with a friend to workout together or book an accountability call with a friend so they eliminate the choice … do I go back to bed or get up to workout?
  3. Make important decisions in the morning. As the day progresses, your energy reserves are further depleted. Throughout the day, we’re all faced with a lot of little decisions that add up at the end of the day. Thus, the wisdom of the phrase, “I’ll sleep on it.”
  4. Get adequate sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and reduce stress! Highly successful people who can consistently focus on their core competency, plan ahead to avoid a crisis. They allow for the unexpected in their project timelines [personal and professional] and do things, such as they take the car for repairs before it gets to the crisis point.
  5. Allow time to surface insights that are unconscious. Psychologists found this to be essential in complex decision making. If you don’t have time to delay a decision, shift your mind to a new activity that allows your unconscious genius to surface.

So, have you decided . . .
Are you more like a Hedgehog or a Fox?

Your Coaching Challenge: Identify your core competency and focus on it, consistently this month. Notice what distracts you and when you experience a feeling like ‘heavy energy’. These are clues about a Need that isn’t being met or practices that are depleting your mental energy! Take time to practice some of the strategies outlined above to create more energy reserves.

For more information about how to identify your core competency or get your Needs met, contact us at

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Gerrie Recommends

“The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives” Author, Katie Couric. Publisher: Random House. April 12, 2011

Online Overview: “In this inspiration-packed book, Katie Couric reports from the front lines of the worlds of politics, entertainment, sports, philanthropy, the arts, and business—distilling the ingenious, hard-won insights of leaders and visionaries, who tell us all how to take chances, follow our passions, cope with criticism, and, perhaps most important, commit to something greater than ourselves.

Delightful, empowering, and moving, The Best Advice I Ever Got is the perfect book for anyone who is thinking about the future, contemplating taking a risk, or daring to make a leap into the great unknown. This book is for all of us, young or old, who want to see how today’s best and brightest got it right, got it wrong, and came out on top.”

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Unique Genius Coaching


Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster and with greater focus and clarity. Some of the benefits include . . .

  • Positions you as a more influential leader
  • Earn the respect and trust of other leaders across all functional areas
  • Other leaders easily recognize what's different, relevant and unique about you
  • Create loyal ‘brand advocates’ who endorse you
  • Helps you forge collaborative partnerships across the organization
  • You are sought out to lead high visibility, highly leveraged and credible projects

Gerrie Dresser is an ICF credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative executive l personal brand coach and thought leader. She delivers high impact individual and team coaching through the Unique Genius™ Coaching Model.

If you’re ready to step into a bigger game for your work / life, contact Gerrie for a complimentary Unique Genius strategic consultation at  ($187 Value)

For more information about Gerrie:

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